Quick fire interview with a Wiki Ninja: Thomas Vuylsteke

This week's interview puts the spotlight on another Wiki Ninja.

Instead of a normal paced interview, I've taken another approach.
Short questions, short answers: meet Thomas Vuylsteke (MVP FIM)!

Thomas Vuylsteke [MSFT]'s avatar

Who are you?
Thomas Vuylsteke, Husband (almost 5 years), Father (almost 8 weeks! :p) and IT Pro

Where are you?
Sleidinge, Belgium. For those that don’t knowSleidinge… 😉 Or Belgium… http://binged.it/KuZpM7

What do you do?
I work as a Consultant For RealDolmen

Besides your work on the Wiki, where do you contribute? (Forums, blog?)
I try to share with the community on a regular base.
On my blog,  
ADdict (http://setspn.blogspot.com/), I post both tips and tricks or solutions to technical problems I encountered.
On the TechNet forums I try to jump in once in a while to pick up on some open threads. But life is busy…

What’s your favorite quote?
If I have a problem, someone else can have it too.

Why this quote?
Ok it’s not really a quote, but every time I think “is this worth blogging/writing a wiki about?”, I say it to myself.
It’s the sole reason I started blogging in the first place.
I have found many interesting blogs in the past and often I thought, if it weren’t for this or that article I would never have the insights I have today.

What are your specialty technologies? Name max 5.

  1. Kerberos,
  2. Forefront Identity Manager,
  3. Active Directory,
  4. AD Federation Services,
  5. Forefront Threat Management Gateway

What do you do with TechNet Wiki ? (Hey, keep it short!)
I try to put “reference” articles on it. Mostly covering a topic which a lot of people struggle with. Mostly the ideas come from questions on the TechNet forums.
The advantage I see is that It’s a way to sharpen my understanding of a topic while writing. And besides that, if I were to make mistakes I’m sure somebody in the community will be glad to help me and correct me! So I get the opportunity to learn something as well!

How does your Wiki work fit into the rest of your job?
I’m often encountering all sorts of technical issues. Troubleshooting articles point me in the right direction. Or when designing it’s always great to get some deeper technical insights by reading some wiki articles written by people like you and me.

What is it about TechNet Wiki that interests you? Define it with a few key words.
The fact that you can start with a small article and that other people can pick it up and maintain it as a community effort!

On what articles do you spend most of your time?
Definitely on this one: FIM 2010: Kerberos Authentication Setup Kerberos is my all-time favorite piece of technology.
I just love to dive into problems regarding Kerberos. As I’ve see people struggle with it every once in a while on the forums I thought I’d try to write an article which has more info in it than “execute setspn –a …” and really explain how I tackle this configuration.

What are your top 5 favorite articles?
I would not put them in a particular order, but here are the ones I frequently use as a source of information:

What are the top 5 topics that need more attention & development?

The #1 item on my list is definitely visitor statistical information.
I’m all into sharing content. But those articles sometimes take a lot of my personal time to write.
It would be nice to see if certain of those articles are hardly ever read, or on the other hand are very popular.
It would allow us to change the type of articles or improve them as we learn from the popularity.
Also some form of a table of content would be great.
In the regular TechNet documentation you can easily go back and forward through the various topics such as preparation, design, implement, troubleshoot,…

With the wiki’s it’s more like a bunch of loose pages and you have to find them yourselves. Ok there’s pages with links gathered on them, but a TOC would be nice.

Who has impressed you in the Wiki community, and why?
Markus Vilcinskas! He’s the one who got me started on the wiki writing. He gave me a great bunch of tips and has pushed me in the right direction.

What does success look like for TechNet Wiki?
Helping people understand technologies where regular TechNet articles fall short.

Technet Wiki is (highlight 1 choice per line)

  • Job / Fun
  • Easy / hard to work with
  • Sharing Experience / Passion
  • Teaching / Learning => both!
  • Sharing / gathering knowledge
  • Open / closed platform
  • Personal / Community driven
  • For newbies / specialists à 3th option: Everyone!
  • Quick win / long term investment
  • Developer / ITPro => for both!
  • ITPro / Developer => for both!


Thanks Thomas!
Ask any questions you have for Thomas in the comments!


[Ka-jah Shakaah!]
The Security & Identity Ninja.

Peter Geelen
Premier Field Engineer - Security & Identity at Microsoft
CISSP, CISA, MCT, former-MVP Forefront Identity Manager

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/geelenp

Comments (8)

  1. It's not often that you get to learn about the motivation for writing Wiki pages and a town called Sleidinge at the same time.

  2. Margriet, Ha!

    Thomas, thanks for your great FIM contributions!

  3. Thomas,

    What kind of TOC would you want to see? Because the portals exist as TOCs. We feature 8 main ones on the home page of TNWiki.


  4. UPDATE: I added the link to Thomas’ profile and the image!

  5. aw says:

    hai, I just want to tell you that I am just very new to blogs and seriously loved this website. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post .
    You amazingly come with really good posts. Thanks a lot for sharing your blog Microsoft.

  6. Updated profile link and photo. Thomas now works at Microsoft!

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